Singing priest Father Ray Kelly has recorded an album that is set to be released in time for Christmas.
Fr Kelly became a YouTube sensation in April, when a video was uploaded of him singing to a happy couple on their wedding day, while he was marrying them!
During Chris and Leah O’Kane’s wedding ceremony, Fr Kelly unexpectedly burst into a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, with personalised lyrics for the stunned couple. His cheeky grin and warm nature, as well as his great voice, made the video a ‘must-see, must-share’ throughout spring.
The clip has now been viewed more than 37 million times.
Following the online sensation, Fr Kelly was catapulted into the world of showbiz. He has since appeared on Irish radio and television numerous times. He also had a choice of several major record labels who were all keen for him to sign with them to produce an album.
Fr Kelly was keen not to let his new star status affect his day-to-day duties as a parish priest in Oldcastle, Co Meath.
After much consideration, he signed with Universal Music Ireland, on the condition that they build a recording studio in his home, so that he was still available to say mass.
Fr Kelly was asked about how his life has changed since the video was uploaded. He told the Irish Independent: “It’s kind of like somebody winning the Lotto – and then all of a sudden their life changes forever. Somebody even compared me to a male Susan Boyle.”
The album, Where I Belong, will contain a couple of classic Christmas songs, as well as some written by Father Kelly himself. It is to be released in time for Christmas, but Fr Kelly plans to travel to America to promote it in the weeks before St Patrick’s Day.
If the album is a success, then Fr Kelly said he intends to use the proceeds to help his family as well as donate some to charity, but also admitted it would nice to keep some money for himself.
“I would like to be in a position to be able to donate more to certain charities and to look after members of my own family, some of who are in negative equity. I also have personal needs and want to look after myself, as I’m not on a huge salary as a priest.”
Where I Belong will be released on 5th December.